Chatting with Tracie: Leaving an Addict | Shreveport-Bossier Boudoir
*Trigger Warning. Abuse.*
Tracie grew up in Shreveport with amazing parents that loved her dearly. She got married and moved to Colorado and Texas for her husband's job with her children. Eventually, she divorced her first husband due to problems he was having that he would not seek help for.
Later on, she met her second husband who abused her in inconspicuous ways, through manipulation, like pushing her to workout so hard that she injured herself. She decided to end that marriage in May of 2016 when he became physically abusive one night. He escalated, picked her up, and threw her across their bedroom.
Tracie then started looking to others for support, like coworkers, and spent the summer working on herself, going to counseling at Samaratin Counseling Center, and just trying to heal. Trying to heal from the loss of a man who never really existed, heal from the horrible treatment she’d had over the years, heal from the trauma of someone she loved throwing her across her bedroom, heal from her life, and who she was/is changing completely in the blink of an eye.
She works with my husband so many of the coworkers she was talking to knew me and what my business and heart were for women in need of loving themselves. So, they told her she needed to meet me. I eventually found out when she told Trey what she’d been told and that she wanted to meet me.
When Trey told me about Tracie my heart broke and I was ready to meet her as soon as I could! She definitely needed all the support she could get and I wanted to help. So, we planned a wine date at wine country and it was fabulous. As I talked with her and saw her strength and positivity in such a terrifying time, I knew I wanted to photograph and interview her as my first installment for my new women’s series that is currently nameless, sadly.
My women’s series is an ongoing project where I choose a woman who inspires me in some way, to photograph and interview. This series will highlight what makes her inspirational and badass. My hope is that this series will empower and inspire other women. So we will all see that simply living your 'ordinary' life out is pretty impressive. Heroes on TV are the ones doing big, grand gestures, which is heroic! But, so is waking up in the middle of the night to feed your sweet infant or choosing to get out of bed and fight to survive another day when life is miserable.
So, let’s read on about what makes Tracie an inspiration!
K: What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
T: Smart, funny, and comfortable
K: How do you think you inspire others?
T: I have had a lot of adversity in my life/issues that I’ve stayed strong in.
K: Who are some women that have inspired you in your life?
T: My Mom.
T: She taught me the meaning of family. She held the family together and was always there. She is a rock. She is the source.
K: Why did you choose this career?
T: Because I needed summers off as a young single Mom with my children, I hate office settings, love school, love reading, and love teaching.
K: Were you always planning to be a teacher?
T: No. I wanted to be a stay at home Mom and teaching was the closest thing.
K: When you were a young girl, what did you want to be?
T: An author
K: How/why did that change?
T: It wasn’t practical.
K: Tell me 5 fun facts about yourself.
- My honeymoon was in Memphis at Graceland-we aren’t even Elvis fans; we just had no money.
- I love to go to concerts no matter the cost-Paul McCartney locked eyes with me once at a concert. So worth it.. I’ve seen every concert on my concert bucket list.
- Pete Rose signed a ball for my Dad and I got to talk with him for awhile.
- I read every single Little House on the Prairie to my little sister because she didn’t enjoy reading.
- I bicycled in the Big Dam Bridge 100 cycling event in Little Rock
K: What is your favorite quote?
T: “The world was hers for the reading” - Betty Smith ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’
K: Favorite music?
T: Classic Rock/Beatles/Country
K: Favorite book?
T: ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’
K: Favorite place you’ve ever been?
T: Eagle Nest, New Mexico. It has been our family vacation spot for 60 years.
K: How would you describe your style?
K: What does your style say about you?
T: I am informal/laid back.
K: Do you like what it says about you?
K: Tell us what 5 things you cannot live without right now.
T: Flat iron, silk therapy-hair product, my current book. Jodi Picoult, phone, sunglasses.
K: What is the first thing you must do each morning?
T: Brush my teeth.
K: Describe the place you are in in your life right now.
K: How did you get there?
T: I discovered I was being abused. I didn’t realize it until it became physical. The person I was died and broke and now I am piecing myself back together.
K: What moment was it that made you realize how strong you were?
T: The summer of 2016 after leaving an abusive marriage. I was grieving the loss of my husband. It felt like the death of my husband, my dreams, my future, my life. I learned how to keep going that summer. My whole life was gone on May 18th. The love of my life died, because he never existed. And that was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through.
K: Your 5 favorite life lessons.
- There are consequences for your choices.
- Prayer works.
- Think before you speak.
- Find the joy in everything. Even just in your own ability to survive.
- Treasure the little moments.
K: What is your one tip for other women?
T: Do not stay in a situation where you can not respect or love yourself.
(She went on to explain that losing respect for herself by not leaving him and settling for an addict was truly awful. She has gained respect for herself again and that was huge. I couldn’t type fast enough but, she really stressed the importance of not losing respect for yourself. I don’t think I could put into words how much importance she put on this.)
K: Tell me about a time you positively influenced someone and how?
T: There was a student recently that was making up a class online. He wanted to quit school, he was 16, his Mom gave him permission, and he was gonna quit. I kept talking to him and saying he could do it, I wanted to see his face on the first day of class, he could be successful. He would say ‘Nope, I am quitting, just biding my time.’ And each day I kept telling him how smart he was, that he could do it, he could succeed, and I wanted to see him that first day of school. Well, comes the first day of the new year and I heard him call my name in the hall. He hugged me and said he couldn’t disappoint me so he had to come back.